Air Quality Action Updates

As we head into our December Holiday, I would like to offer an update of various initiatives the School has started to address the elevated AQI levels we have been experiencing. 

  1. Tackling construction site burning: Members of our community have expressed concerns regarding the burning that is occurring on the construction site across the road from the school. UNIS is in close contact with Ciputra regarding the situation. The School has contacted the police and in some cases, this has resulted in a change in practice. As a further preventative measure, Ciputra has sent official letters to three different governmental agencies to seek assistance in stopping the burning with an emphasis on the impact on the health and wellbeing of those who reside, work and are educated in Ciputra..
  2. Planning for improvement: UNIS has contracted with a sustainable design expert. As a school, our goal is to ensure the Indoor Air Quality (IAQ) in all classrooms is under 50 throughout the day. In order to achieve this goal our buildings will require modifications. The contract is to analyze and test the impact of various classroom modifications on the level of IAQ. The testing is one more step in preparing a comprehensive plan that brings us closer to achieving our goal of maintaining healthy IAQ levels. 
  3. Daily classroom action: The School continues to actively monitor IAQ in the classrooms. This means the School has an employee assigned to watch the levels at all times during the school day. When the level in a classroom reaches 100 or the machine appears offline, an employee is dispatched to review the situation. If all doors and windows are closed and the students have not been outside recently, the employee takes a manual IAQ reading to ensure the microchip is working. If the readings match, further action is taken. The additional steps range from repositioning air purifiers to redirecting traffic flow through specific doors to adding additional air purifiers to the space.
  4. Improving data reliability: The UNIS reading has consistently been higher than the AQI reading throughout Hanoi and our immediate surrounding area. We have been reporting and using the ground reading while waiting for a new pump to be installed for our roof reader. 

We have put several other initiatives in place to support our work in developing a comprehensive response plan to the AQI. Our Health & Safety Committee is discussing the AQI action levels and various monitoring techniques (such as real time monitoring and ground vs roof levels), the divisional Principals have analysed the daily schedule to maximize the use of indoor space for recess, breaks, and lunches, our Activities Department is currently reviewing communication guidelines to support consistent implementation of practices across ASA’s and community programs, the sustainability committee is creating a dashboard to display indoor AQI readings and the School is conducting a facilities assessment that will help determine the feasibility of building modifications. 

And finally, a parent AQI Advisory Committee has been established. This committee has been created to lend a parent perspective to our plan, to learn from those who have been in locations with similar AQI issues and are aware of the response of comparable schools and to ensure ongoing communication and transparency.

We look forward to updating you further after the break.

Misty Shipley
Director of Finance and Operations